For those who don’t already know, I work as a Registered Nurse at a large urban teaching hospital in Chicago. These last couple of days I have been talking with one of my friends about how I wish I had an office job. A nurse wishing to work in an office with the opportunity to wear more than just scrubs… what a dream! Though I’m sure lots of you out there are jealous that I get to wear comfortable scrubs to work everyday.
A quick comment about scrubs. I never wear the same color top and bottom scrubs. I told someone that, and he was so baffled. Would you ever wear a red shirt and red pants in real life as you’re going about your daily business or to your office job? NO, so why should I wear a monochrome outfit to work. I mean if I did I would probably look like these guys. Pretty hot hmmm?
I dream of having an office job, but I am sure I would feel so restless being confined in a cubicle staring at a computer screen all day. As a nurse I get to meet a lot of interesting and sometimes eccentric people. Here are some stories that I would love to share with you.
The Untalkative One
I walked into his room to give him his medications. If I were receiving medications from someone, I would want to know what I am taking for my own health’s sake. I pop the pills into the medicine cup and educate the elderly man about what each medication was and essentially what kind of medication it is. He then sits up and asks me “Do you have a boyfriend?”. At this point I was so baffled at his question, and why he would ask me that. I then ask him “What makes you ask that?”. He then goes on and says “Damn, you talk too much”. I was slightly insulted, especially I am definitely not a blabber or someone who will talk aimlessly. From then on I didn’t say much to this patient. I recently had this same patient again. He came into the hospital for very similar reasons. He told me he remembered me. I hope he didn’t remember that he thought I talked too much.
The Bed Tucker
I had this one patient who was a younger man. Towards the end of the night he asked me for a night time snack. Very reasonable especially since he ate dinner hours ago. I am a snacker, so I understand the idea of eating constantly. I gave some crackers to him, and he was quite a happy man. A little later he calls me again. This time for something that was a little odd. He told me he wanted me to tuck in the sheets into the bed, so that he could be tucked into bed. Keep in mind this guy is an adult. I was way too busy to tuck a guy into bed, so I had the nurse technician help me out. Special request from a patient!
The Sweet Patient
A patient that I had for a long period of time was finally discharged from the hospital. I was there for his discharge, meaning I was the last nurse that he had before he went home. He was readmitted a couple weeks later. I could tell he was very overwhelmed with everything. Lots of unfortunate events had happened to him leading up to his hospitalization, and I could tell he was quite frustrated. I sat with him listening to his life story. He was finally discharged. I came to work one day, and a co-worker told me the patient left a card for me. It was so sweet! He thanked me for my care. There was even a chocolate bar inside the card. Something sweet for a sweet nurse huh?
The Fecal Transplantee
This story is not for the faint of heart. I had a patient come up to our unit after having a feces transplant. We get all of kinds of transplant patients on our unit – kidney, liver, bowel. But feces transplant I have never heard of. I asked the nurse I was getting report from what a feces transplant is and she tells me over the phone in a very hushed voice what it is. Essentially a feces transplant is exactly what the name says it is. It is transplantation of feces from one person to another. Usually the feces comes from the spouse or a close family member with a normal flora in their guts. The feces is transplanted into the patient via a scope like the kind they use for a colonoscopy. The reason for the feces transplant is that sometimes patients have chronic C. diff infections, an bacteria in the guts that overpopulate when the normal flora is killed off. The feces is transplanted in hopes of restoring normal flora in the guts. Sure sounds like something out of the twilight zone. Imagine receiving feces from someone close to you. Wouldn’t that be a good conversation starter?